William GREGG, PR, and Frances MEEHAN?
Conna, County Cork, Ireland to Huntley Township, Ontario, Canada, in 1823
January 13, 2004:
Hi Elaine: First I found your email address on the net and note that
you are related to Patrick Gregg. He wrote the song The Chapeau Boys
my brother and I are looking for the lyrics to this song. Our parents used to
sing it to us when we were young and we were reminiscing and wondered what
the words were unfortunately my mom could not remember them and we couldn't
seem to find them on the net. So I was hoping being related to him you might
have heard of it and have the words we would really appreciate any info you
could give us. My name is Donna Chartrand.
From Elaine Brown:
In answer to your question, I can tell you a few things about the song.
Here're two websites you can look at: Lyrics http://ve2dn.dynip.com/SITES/musique/chapeau.htm
Lyrics and music here http://www.members.shaw.ca/tunebook/chapeau.htm
I've also attached a photo (below) showing the music.
You also might be interested to know about a book about Ottawa Valley songs.
Sheldon Posen of Ottawa won the 1991 Porcupine Book Award for his book
'For Singing and Dancing and All Sorts of Fun'. The story of the Ottawa Valley's
most famous song 'The Chapeau Boys'. Lots of local name and events. The book
costs around $12 and you can order it from:
I. Sheldon Posen
Well Done Books
295 First Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1S 2G7
Is this the Patrick Gregg who composed "The Chapeau Boys"? ... Al
Notre Dame, Bytown:
22 Sep 1833
Baptism of Patrick, son of William Gregg and Frances Nalor? Huntley Township
Witnesses: Thomas Leahy and Ellen Barry
Source: Ellen Paul
Names for search engine: Fitzgerald, J.R. Booth, Caldwell, Bob Humphrey, Girard,
Ned Murphy, Fort William, Retty / Reddy
January 14, 2004:
Sure that is fine with me. I can let you know that I found a book in the
Sudbury Public Library today called "Lumbering Songs from the Northern Woods"
by Edith Fowke. It contains the Chapeau Boys song. On page 63 I found the
following "The composer Patrick Gregg, was a local lumber man and musician.
The Reverand Joseph E. Gravelle, unofficial historian of the Ottawa Valley,
says that Patrick was the third son of William Gregg and Frances Meehan,
who came out from Ireland to settle on Allumette Island in the 1850's. He
believes that Patrick wrote the song in the Spring of 1869, when he returned
from spending the winter in the bush, and notes he had reason to remember
the stop at Reddy's farm, for on September 7, 1869 he married Fanny Reddy."
I hope this helps and thanks for the interest.
January 10, 2010:
I saw your name on an old posting on a website related to the song The Chapeau Boys written by Pat Gregg.
I have the book For Singing and Dancing and All Sorts of Fun written by Sheldon Posen but am more interested
in Pat Gregg's genealogy.
Are you related to Pat Gregg and if so how much do you know about your genealogy?
William Gregg and Frances Meehan (Pat Gregg's parents) are my ggg grandparents. Pat's brother, mentioned in his song
was my gg grandfather. From what I have been told, there is speculation as to which Pat Gregg actually wrote the song,
but both men are related. I am always interested in finding whatever I can about my family and now I have other "cousins"
I have been in contact with Elaine Brown and have researched and found the 1823 Peter Robinson immigration records in which
William Gregg and Frances Meehan and family traveled, although neither Michael or Pat were born yet. I have traced my family
forward, but do not know much about them or their life in Ireland and was wondering if you might know. If so, would you
be willing to share with me. I would be happy to pass on any information that I have to you.
Please let me know -- I would love to hear from you.
Thanks for your interesting e-mail. It's been a while since I re-read that song by Pat Gregg. It contains a lot of
our history during the 1800's in the Ottawa Valley.
Here is a book which may interest you:
Peter Robinson's Settlers, by Carol Bennett, Juniper Books, 1987,
another is an article "Peter Robinson's Settlers in Peterborough", by Wendy Cameron, in The Untold Story: The Irish in Canada,
edited by Robert O'Driscoll and Lorna Reynolds, Celtic Arts of Canada: Toronto, 1988, pages 343-353
(This refers to the 1825 migration to the Peterborough area -- similar to our 1823 migration to the Ottawa area.)
and a good article is Selecting Peter Robinson's Irish Emigrants, by Wendy Cameron, in Histoire Sociale / Social History,
Volume IX, no. 17 (May 1976): 29-46 -- This article describes the conditions and selection process in Ireland.
(I have a copy of it somewhere here)
Thanks again and feel free to submit further information regarding the early Gregg family, including old photos!
By the way, have a listen to a similar song, written later by Mac Beattie -- The Log Driver's Song, performed by Charlie Gardner.
E-mail Elaine Brown, Donna Chartrand, Colleen and Al Lewis
Back to Bytown or Bust - Peter Robinson Settlers, A to G